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First Name: David

Last Name: Nash

Birthplace: Whitesville, KY, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Whitesville, KY
Middle Name: Paul

Date of Birth: 03 November 1947

Date of Death: 29 December 1968

Rank: Private First Class

Years Served:
David Paul Nash

•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


David Paul Nash
Private First Class, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Vietnam War

Private First Class David Paul Nash (3 November 1947 or 1948 * - 29 December 1968) was a U.S. Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the U.S. military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Vietnam War.

* Sources are inconsistent on Nash's year of birth. His Medal of Honor citation uses 1947 while his headstones both use 1948.

David Paul Nash was born on 3 November 1947 or 1948 in Whitesville, KY; he also joined the Army from Whitesville. On 29 December 1968, Nash was serving as a Private First Class in Company B, 2nd Battalion, 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division. On that day, in Giao Duc District, Dinh Tuong Province, Republic of Vietnam, Nash covered the blast of an enemy-thrown grenade with his body, sacrificing his life to protect his fellow soldiers. For his self-sacrifice in saving others, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Pfc. Nash distinguished himself while serving as a grenadier with Company B, in Giao Duc District. When an ambush patrol of which he was a member suddenly came under intense attack before reaching its destination, he was the first to return the enemy fire. Taking an exposed location, Pfc. Nash suppressed the hostile fusillade with a rapid series of rounds from his grenade launcher, enabling artillery fire to be adjusted on the enemy. After the foe had been routed, his small element continued to the ambush site where he established a position with 3 fellow soldiers on a narrow dike. Shortly past midnight, while Pfc. Nash and a comrade kept watch and the 2 other men took their turn sleeping, an enemy grenade wounded 2 soldiers in the adjacent position. Seconds later, Pfc. Nash saw another grenade land only a few feet from his own position. Although he could have escaped harm by rolling down the other side of the dike, he shouted a warning to his comrades and leaped upon the lethal explosive. Absorbing the blast with his body, he saved the lives of the 3 men in the area at the sacrifice of his life. By his gallantry at the cost of his life are in the highest traditions of the military service, Pfc. Nash has reflected great credit on himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

Medals and Awards

Medal of Honor
Bronze Star
Purple Heart


Vietnam Veterans Memorial

David Paul Nash's name is inscribed on Panel 35W - Line 6.


The section of Kentucky Highway 54 which runs through Whitesville is named "The David P. 'Paulie' Nash Memorial Highway."

Death and Burial

Private First Class David Paul Nash was killed in action on 29 December 1968. He is buried at Saint Mary of the Woods Cemetery in his birth city of Whitesville, KY.

Honoree ID: 1038   Created by: MHOH




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